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Tags Grace Millane , murder cases , New Zealand cases

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Old 16th November 2019, 01:55 AM   #81
LondonJohn
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Originally Posted by Fixit View Post
As I wrote above the defence has the opportunity to say he told the truth in the 2nd instance and to this point he has not been exposed as having lied. He's either gone from thick to clever, or he panicked. Premeditation? Where did it start, when he panicked, or later? He clearly hadn't planned to kill a woman he'd never met, we know of 1 partner who was quite 'happy,' another that claimed not to be but whose subsequent behaviour indicated otherwise. If he was going to kill Grace deliberately where was he going to take his next date?

My opinions on this are tempered by not having read 50 shades of Grey and being surprised by these sort of hookups - the reason I question whether there is some kind of algorithm encoded in the Tinder 'advertising' for partners. Again, 1 who wanted to have her neck pressured, 1 who claimed she didn't then a 3rd we may never know about.

Monday will be interesting. I think the man is Australian by the way.


Well firstly. of course the defence will want to argue that his second story was the truth (i.e. a consensual sex game that went wrong resulting in her accidental death, upon which he panicked). But by definition that would mean that he lied in the first version of events that he gave the police (i.e. that they spent the night together and then she left of her own accord). And that's a big problem for the defence.

And secondly, there's absolutely no requirement for there to be premeditation for this to be classified as murder. The only requirement is that there was intent on his part (which is to say that he knew - or ought to have known - that his actions would result in at least very serious injury to her). That's all the prosecution need to demonstrate.

I'd also point out that it actually takes a very long time - well over a minute - to strangle or suffocate someone to death. The movies make it appear that you can kill someone in literally a matter of seconds, but that's simply not true. It's very difficult to "accidentally" kill someone through manual strangulation or suffocation. You need to keep applying constriction or pressure to the neck or mouth/nose well beyond the point where the person has ceased struggling.
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Old 16th November 2019, 02:37 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Fixit View Post
As I wrote above the defence has the opportunity to say he told the truth in the 2nd instance and to this point he has not been exposed as having lied. He's either gone from thick to clever, or he panicked. Premeditation? Where did it start, when he panicked, or later? He clearly hadn't planned to kill a woman he'd never met, we know of 1 partner who was quite 'happy,' another that claimed not to be but whose subsequent behaviour indicated otherwise. If he was going to kill Grace deliberately where was he going to take his next date?

My opinions on this are tempered by not having read 50 shades of Grey and being surprised by these sort of hookups - the reason I question whether there is some kind of algorithm encoded in the Tinder 'advertising' for partners. Again, 1 who wanted to have her neck pressured, 1 who claimed she didn't then a 3rd we may never know about.

Monday will be interesting. I think the man is Australian by the way.
He has a distinctive Australian accent. Beyond that I had not realised.
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Old 16th November 2019, 04:14 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Do you know anything about 50 Shades? Reading it actually makes you less experienced at BDSM. If that was her source of truth, no wonder she's dead.
LOL I went to see it one afternoon after work as the cinema was next door. The place was full of teenage girls, mostly. I was absolutely bored stiff.

His claim she wanted 'Fifty Shades of Gray' [sic] sex is laughable!

It's about as daring as Mary Poppins singing 'A Spoonful of Sugar helps the medicine go down'.
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Old 16th November 2019, 04:17 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Fixit View Post
You seem to be mistaking the discussion of possibilities as some sort of challenge?

That he was trying to avoid being caught was most likely the reason he threw away his phone, moved the body and didn't ring emergency services. That seems pretty clear.

You must have missed the evidence that he admitted that he and Grace took photos of one another. The time of the photos in respect as to when Grace died, isn't clear. There was a claim they were after she died, but that now isn't clear.

They may, or may not have been crocodile tears. I'm sure once he made the claim that he vomited had police found he did not would have been used against him - as a major indication that he was still lying 'after he came clean.'

I'm not positional about my opinion. I've already changed my mind once, and may again. At the moment he had one partner who said she was happy with the way the accused pressured her neck, the next claimed she wasn't happy with - she had a boyfriend and exchanged some 700 texts with the accused after their hookup. The accused's second statement to this point has not been derailed. The police would want to show he lied in his second statement but their case is closed and that did not happen. The first witness Monday is meant to be a forensic pathologist. A rumour circulates that a former boyfriend of Grace's may give evidence.
His exes describing their SM sessions indicates it is his foible? Let's see if it turns out to be hers as well.
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Old 16th November 2019, 04:25 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
He has a distinctive Australian accent. Beyond that I had not realised.
His date after Grace testified he told her he was an international level sportsman in Australia. I'm guessing from his build in the cctv film he is a rugby player. Maybe he is well-known, hence the anonymity.
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Old 16th November 2019, 07:24 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
Well firstly. of course the defence will want to argue that his second story was the truth (i.e. a consensual sex game that went wrong resulting in her accidental death, upon which he panicked). But by definition that would mean that he lied in the first version of events that he gave the police (i.e. that they spent the night together and then she left of her own accord). And that's a big problem for the defence.

And secondly, there's absolutely no requirement for there to be premeditation for this to be classified as murder. The only requirement is that there was intent on his part (which is to say that he knew - or ought to have known - that his actions would result in at least very serious injury to her). That's all the prosecution need to demonstrate.

I'd also point out that it actually takes a very long time - well over a minute - to strangle or suffocate someone to death. The movies make it appear that you can kill someone in literally a matter of seconds, but that's simply not true. It's very difficult to "accidentally" kill someone through manual strangulation or suffocation. You need to keep applying constriction or pressure to the neck or mouth/nose well beyond the point where the person has ceased struggling.
Yes the defence has and will argue it was accidental. I was referring to your points about buying the bag and other such things as showing deliberation as to intent. I'm merely saying that the defence will say it was the result of panic and there was no aforethought to what they will maintain was accidental.

Yes no premeditation required, but certainly no evidence of premeditation which would have put the accused in a more difficult position.

I gather that from the first partner's evidence that what the defendant did 'was just right' that the pressure on the neck was maintained deliberately for an extended period, which lessens the impact of the overall time of the pressure on the neck. Was 3m40 'just right' but 3m50 the disaster point? That will be a matter for the Jury. But I'm sure we will hear more about that. More than likely the defence pathologist will say the period of time was less than the Crown's pathologist.
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Old 16th November 2019, 08:08 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
His date after Grace testified he told her he was an international level sportsman in Australia. I'm guessing from his build in the cctv film he is a rugby player. Maybe he is well-known, hence the anonymity.

That's interesting. If that's the case I don't imagine his name will remain secret forever.

ETA: I see from Vixen's next post that the "name suppression" appears to have ended and I for one have never heard of him.
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Old 16th November 2019, 09:30 AM   #88
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Quote:
The suspected killer of British backpacker Grace Millane wrote her a creepy message on social media hours before she died, it emerged yesterday.

Jesse Kempson, 26, who has appeared in a New Zealand court charged with her murder , left a comment on Grace’s latest Facebook profile picture saying she was “beautiful very radiant”.
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/u...-left-13714827

Apparently, this guy is described as a fantasist by a former flatmate.

Quote:
https://en.mogaznews.com/World-News/...-blatant-.html Jesse Kempson, 26, once shared a flat with three journalism graduates in Auckland and he was asked to leave after just six weeks after his three female flatmates became 'uncomfortable' when he was present.



One of the flatmates, who asked not to be identified, now lives in London but said she was sickened when she learned of the accused man's identity.

'It almost made me ill' she said. 'I remembered him immediately from when we all shared a flat together in Auckland in 2016.

'He was a fantasist and a liar. I caught him out big time and it made the three of us very unhappy that he was in our home.'
He played soft ball for multiple teams in Australia and New Zealand.

Quote:
https://wikiaboutworld.com/jesse-sha...pson-bio-wiki/ Jesse Shane Kempson Facts
Jesse Shane Kempson, 26, is accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, in New Zealand
The man had two stints living in Australia, during which he played softball for multiple teams
A former teammate said he was ‘creepy’ and ‘his life revolved around girls, talking to girls’
Kempson, who is believed to have stayed with his mother in Australia, also fathered a child in the country
Family members have said he is not currently in a relationship with the child’s mother
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Old 16th November 2019, 10:09 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
I'd also point out that it actually takes a very long time - well over a minute - to strangle or suffocate someone to death. The movies make it appear that you can kill someone in literally a matter of seconds, but that's simply not true. It's very difficult to "accidentally" kill someone through manual strangulation or suffocation. You need to keep applying constriction or pressure to the neck or mouth/nose well beyond the point where the person has ceased struggling.

I'm interested in this partly because of its relevance to the David Gilroy thread. There are some similarities between the two cases in that in both cases the apparent strangling did not appear to be premeditated and in both cases the killer appears to have made a calculated decision not to call an ambulance and/or the cops and say "this had happened and I absolutely did not plan for this to happen" but decided to conceal the body in the hope of remaining undetected.

I think this is probably the best expert evidence we're going to get in relation to this point for either of the cases.

Quote:
Dr Clare Healy, a forensic physician, gave evidence this afternoon via video link from Australia. An expert in non-fatal strangulation, she explained how sensitive the human brain is to oxygen deprivation. "Brain cells do not survive without oxygen."

She told the court a person's neck could be "compressed relatively easily" and if pressure continued it may result in death. "The signs and symptoms will depend on the amount of pressure and how long it is applied for," she said. "Recovery may occur after pressure is released ... If pressure is continued death will arise."

Healy said just 2kg of pressure on a person's neck may interfere with blood flow. This, she said, was equivalent to the amount of pressure required to crush a can of Coke. Some 5kg of pressure would be required to restrict the blood flow in the arteries, she added. A person may lose consciousness due to pressure on their neck in as little as 10 to 20 seconds, Healy said.
Death, she said, could result any time from 90 seconds to six minutes.

Crown solicitor Brian Dickey asked Healy if blood could drip from someone's nose as a result of strangulation. "Yes, I think it could. It's not something I have seen," she said. "I understand it can happen." The accused claims when he saw Millane was dead on the floor of his apartment she had blood coming from her nose. Under cross-examination by the accused's lawyer Ian Brookie, Healy said a person could die from pressure to their neck in one or all of four ways - restriction of the veins, arteries, windpipe or pressure on a small cluster of nerve cells.

The question of how long it takes to strangle someone to death is important in both cases because of the question, was there a point when you realised you were killing her when you could still have pulled back? Ninety seconds as a minimum certainly seems long enough if the strangulation was happening during sex (speaking as a non-expert, I hasten to add). I think it also seems long enough if the strangulation was by someone who had completely lost his cool during an argument. (Although of course since Gilroy never admitted to the killing the defence never got the chance to enter a plea of culpable homicide based on his having lost his temper and the victim being dead before the red mist cleared.)

The other point of interest in relation to the Gilroy case is the time-frame during which the murder must have been committed. The prosecution said 20 minutes. Gilroy has been trying to claim seven minutes. If the actual killing might only have taken 90 seconds I think even the seven-minute time window (which I don't necessarily believe) could be long enough. I might take that point to the Gilroy thread.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 16th November 2019 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 16th November 2019, 01:17 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's interesting. If that's the case I don't imagine his name will remain secret forever.

ETA: I see from Vixen's next post that the "name suppression" appears to have ended and I for one have never heard of him.
From memory name suppression ending was successfully appealed.
Technically a New Zealander could be prosecuted in New Zealand for naming the accused on this forum.

Last edited by Samson; 16th November 2019 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 16th November 2019, 01:36 PM   #91
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Ah well, the rest of us can't be, so we'll chill.
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Old 16th November 2019, 05:06 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/u...-left-13714827

Apparently, this guy is described as a fantasist by a former flatmate.



He played soft ball for multiple teams in Australia and New Zealand.
'Was kind of creepy' and 'a fantasist' would have been good reasons for suppression in NZ. Almost hear the thoughts developing 'I always thought he was creepy.'
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Old 16th November 2019, 07:01 PM   #93
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The offender was very drunk when he choked the victim to death. That should be an aggravating factor which automatically made it murder even if it was just consensual sex gone wrong.

The idea that he might have gotten away with a "temporary insanity" defence is sickening.
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Old 16th November 2019, 11:19 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The offender was very drunk when he choked the victim to death. That should be an aggravating factor which automatically made it murder even if it was just consensual sex gone wrong.

The idea that he might have gotten away with a "temporary insanity" defence is sickening.
You are conflating this with drink driving which is a criminal offence in New Zealand. Choking for enhanced eroticism is not currently legislated against, so engaging while drunk is not apparently the business of the state.
Because of witness 1, I am currently of the view this was an accident as claimed. I also heard all testimony from witness 2 who engaged in completely consensual activity until he "sat" on her. She had drunk a bottle of wine minus possibly a glass he may have drunk. Unpacking all that is ultimately for the jury.
I reckon he will take the stand.
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Old 17th November 2019, 01:28 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
You are conflating this with drink driving which is a criminal offence in New Zealand.
No I am not. The legal system too often regards intoxication as a mitigating factor in a crime when it should be mandated to be an aggraving factor.
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Old 17th November 2019, 02:14 AM   #96
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Because Grace got drunk with him and went off to his room of her own accord for presumably consensual sex, he could well be found not guilty of murder. OTOH because of the high profile nature of the case, her parents being wealthy property developers (iirc) NZ will be keen to make sure justice is being seen to be done, so he could well be found to be guilty of murder. It'll be hard to prove premeditation though. My sixpence piece says he'll get a lesser charge of culpable manslaughter and concealing a body.
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Old 17th November 2019, 02:26 AM   #97
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I think the wealthy property developer theme is completely irrelevant.
The jurors have total control, property developers are not loved by the common plebescite who comprise the jury pool.
Try again. I do not trust juries as far as I can kick them for obvious reasons, but they are dumb in a predictable fashion.
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Old 17th November 2019, 03:19 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
I think the wealthy property developer theme is completely irrelevant.
The jurors have total control, property developers are not loved by the common plebescite who comprise the jury pool.
Try again. I do not trust juries as far as I can kick them for obvious reasons, but they are dumb in a predictable fashion.
And predictably they'll find him not guilty as juries have a tendency to feel sorry for the guy in the dock and mistakenly believe they need to be 100% certain, not 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt', especially in cases where there were no witnesses. Rape defendants nearly always get off, so I think this guy will, too, for the same reason.
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Old 17th November 2019, 03:25 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
And predictably they'll find him not guilty as juries have a tendency to feel sorry for the guy in the dock and mistakenly believe they need to be 100% certain, not 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt', especially in cases where there were no witnesses. Rape defendants nearly always get off, so I think this guy will, too, for the same reason.


Wrong. This case is NOT a "he said/she said" situation, as is the case in many rape trials (and which is the main reason for so many acquittals in such trials).

My (provisional) opinion is that he will (safely) be convicted of murder. IMO the only other possibility here is that he'll be convicted of manslaughter (provided that's on the indictment as well - I'm not sure of that). IMO there's a close-to-zero chance that he'll walk free from the courtroom.
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Old 18th November 2019, 03:52 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
I would say what he is alleged to have done afterwards doesn't look good.
A good point. Failure to seek immediate medical aid et cetera will be points against him.
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Old 18th November 2019, 03:56 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
See, all that stuff sounds pretty good to me . It's just the more violent play that scares me. But again, I truly don't make a value judgment beyond "yikes, not my thing." Until someone gets killed, and then I guess I start to sound a little judgy. But I'm not judging the activity itself so much as someone who enjoys it to the exclusion of caring about someone else's life.
There are an infinite number of shades1 within BDSM. Rather few people are into branding, bleeding or having a Tucker connected to a conductive catheter...

I don't have a problem with people getting judgemental when someone is killed or significantly injured. As with any recreational activity that carries risk, participants should be aware, prepared and careful.



1 Not of Grey though....
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Old 18th November 2019, 03:58 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The operative word here is 'fantasies'.
Sigh. People are more interested in BDSM, more accepting and more participating.
Out local dungeon munch is getting crowded.

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I can recall the punk era when many of my friends frequented the Roxy and the Embassy. Bondage tartan trousers, nose and tongue clips, shiny PVC, etc. Doesn't mean it translated into inflicting pain on each other during sex, Sid Vicious aside. I do recall Depeche Mode raising a few eyebrows with Master & Servant.
Is there supposed to be a relevant point buried in this reminiscing?
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Old 18th November 2019, 04:01 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
I have no idea about New Zealand, but in the UK that was one of the main points of contention about Operation Spanner.

A resulting House of Lords judgement, R v Brown, ruled that consent was not a valid legal defence for actual bodily harm in Britain
Thankfully a UK only decision.
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Old 18th November 2019, 05:42 AM   #104
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Speaking as a vengeful harpy, I want to see him go down for the maximum. Speaking as someone interested in the legalities of the issue, I think it's not entirely clear at the moment just what the situation is.

I also wonder whether what the actual law states is the same as what people think it should be, and how this varies from one jurisdiction to another.
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Old 18th November 2019, 06:39 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Speaking as a vengeful harpy, I want to see him go down for the maximum. Speaking as someone interested in the legalities of the issue, I think it's not entirely clear at the moment just what the situation is.

I also wonder whether what the actual law states is the same as what people think it should be, and how this varies from one jurisdiction to another.


I think that what the law states in most jurisdictions in respect of this area is as follows (assuming for a moment that this case ends up with charges and a trial):

1) It can only be accidental death (and not manslaughter or murder) if the court decides that the defendant reasonably believed that he was doing no serious injury to the victim, and a reasonable person would have believed likewise.

2) If the court decides that the defendant did not intend to do serious injury to the victim, but a reasonable person should have known that his actions (or his negligence) were likely to result in serious injury or death, then it's manslaughter.

3) If the court decides that the defendant must have intended to do at least serious injury to the victim, and the defendant's actions resulted in the death of the victim, then it's murder.


In this particular instance - and in death-by-strangulation/suffocation instances in general - I believe it's usually difficult for the defendant to claim accidental death or even manslaughter. And that's because of the matter we discussed here earlier: the fact that in order to cause somebody's death in this way, a person has to apply constriction or compression for a period of time well beyond that where the victim loses consciousness and goes limp (generally something between 45 seconds and 2 minutes more). It's therefore usually pretty difficult to argue accidental death or negligence manslaughter - most reasonable people would relax or remove the constriction/compression fairly soon after the victim visibly loses consciousness and stops struggling, if they truly did not intend to do serious harm to the victim.
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Old 18th November 2019, 06:48 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
A good point. Failure to seek immediate medical aid et cetera will be points against him.


I'd say that if, for example, he'd fleed in panic, then - while this would still somewhat count against him - it would not be incompatible with someone genuinely finding a sex partner accidentally dead and not knowing what to do or whether he'll be believed etc. Especially if he'd told the truth as soon as the police became involved.

However..... what I think is particularly damning to him here is the seried of methodical steps he went to over an extended time period after the victim died. Quite simply, most juries would not find a) the actions of a genuinely-panicking person coming across the accidental death of a sex partner compatible with b) that person going out to buy a shovel and a large suitcase, hiring a car, wheeling the victim's body down through the hotel lobby in the suitcase to the rental car, driving out to the countryside, burying the victim within the suitcase, driving back, pretending nothing has happened, lying to the police by stating that the victim left the hotel of her own volition, then (I suspect) only changing his story when he was forced to do so after being confronted with the hotel CCTV evidence.......
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Old 18th November 2019, 06:54 AM   #107
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...In addition, buying a replacement suitcase into fooling people it was still around. That shows cunning.

He told date number two that he knew lots of policemen and that they had told him there were lots of bodies buried out there.

Are there more? EMNTK
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Old 18th November 2019, 11:48 PM   #108
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There have been themes running through many posts on this particular thread despite one witness having told the Court early on the 'defendant' have done or put pressure to the neck 'just right' or similar. I've mentioned that many times. It was an early indication that there was more to the case than appeared on the surface, there have posts about a 'consistent rumour' of an ex partner or girlfriend revealing that Grace had welcomed having pressure put on her neck by sexual partners.
That's come out now. The Defence expects to finish its case tomorrow and the estimate for closing addresses to begin Thursday - I think it may actually be tomorrow.
Unsurprisingly the defendant is not going to give evidence. Leaving Counsel to able to tell the Jury they've heard his evidence from the police videos.
My interest in whether the site (Tinder) through which Grace and the defendant met had encoded material for 'matches' of a particular type does not appear to be answered yet - although it emerged that Grace was a member of another site said to a meeting place for those who practiced or who were interested in BDSM.
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Old 19th November 2019, 01:15 AM   #109
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Here's one of the better sources of info from today's proceedings:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=12286372

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Old 19th November 2019, 01:26 AM   #110
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That's actually one of the worst sources of info, given that it's a story whose headine is "Russia returns three Ukrainian navy boats seized in Strait of Kerch ahead of Putin-Zelenskiy meeting".
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Old 19th November 2019, 01:42 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
That's actually one of the worst sources of info, given that it's a story whose headine is "Russia returns three Ukrainian navy boats seized in Strait of Kerch ahead of Putin-Zelenskiy meeting".
Fixed it.
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Old 19th November 2019, 01:55 AM   #112
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Tequila and an evidentiary protocol for arousal by restriction of the breathing apparatus.
I can imagine a significant margin for error that results in this tragedy.

The accused is clearly a fantasist with no secure vocation at age 27.
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Old 19th November 2019, 05:41 AM   #113
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We seem to have rowed back some way from "stick a fork in him, he's done". It's an interesting case. I never believed that the accused had deliberately set out to murder Grace, or indeed anyone. The question was always, was he recklessly carried away to the point where his negligence and surrender to his basest instincts beomes culpable? And while my gut instincts here are still those of a vengeful harpy, I have wondered from the beginning whether that really would be murder or something closer to culpable homicide. Extracts from New Zealand law suggested that if he had indeed been reckless and negligent, given the nature of the act, it could come under murder.

However I'm not convinced the prosecution are really making their case here. They've totally failed to prove lack of consent, there's no proof that Grace tried to struggle or resist or indeed give any indication that she was in distress. The expert gave 90 seconds as a minimum neck compression to cause death, but there's nothing to say that for all of that 90 seconds the accused would have been aware that he was doing something that might lead to death.

His actions afterwards are something else. Surely there must have been a point where he should have called the emergency services? Did this really go directly from "everything's fine" to "OMG she's dead and definitely beyond help!"? One of the things I wondered if we believed was the stuff about thinking Grace had left the hotel room and falling asleep in the shower and only realising she was still there and actually dead some time later. It sounds highly improbable.

But does that make it murder? Does that even make it culpable homicide? Should he really be charged with failing to report a death and unlawful concealment of a body?
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Old 19th November 2019, 07:02 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
We seem to have rowed back some way from "stick a fork in him, he's done". It's an interesting case. I never believed that the accused had deliberately set out to murder Grace, or indeed anyone. The question was always, was he recklessly carried away to the point where his negligence and surrender to his basest instincts beomes culpable? And while my gut instincts here are still those of a vengeful harpy, I have wondered from the beginning whether that really would be murder or something closer to culpable homicide. Extracts from New Zealand law suggested that if he had indeed been reckless and negligent, given the nature of the act, it could come under murder.

However I'm not convinced the prosecution are really making their case here. They've totally failed to prove lack of consent, there's no proof that Grace tried to struggle or resist or indeed give any indication that she was in distress. The expert gave 90 seconds as a minimum neck compression to cause death, but there's nothing to say that for all of that 90 seconds the accused would have been aware that he was doing something that might lead to death.

His actions afterwards are something else. Surely there must have been a point where he should have called the emergency services? Did this really go directly from "everything's fine" to "OMG she's dead and definitely beyond help!"? One of the things I wondered if we believed was the stuff about thinking Grace had left the hotel room and falling asleep in the shower and only realising she was still there and actually dead some time later. It sounds highly improbable.

But does that make it murder? Does that even make it culpable homicide? Should he really be charged with failing to report a death and unlawful concealment of a body?


I'd still point to two things:

1) The fact that it's a significant distance - in terms of time and effort - between choking/suffocating someone into unconsciousness and choking/suffocating them to death. In the sort of sexual activity being suggested, the aim is to take the person to that grey area between consciousness and unconsciousness, which is (apparently) the "sweet spot" for heightened arousal. I can well understand how/why this could occasionally (or even often) result in taking the person beyond that point and into full unconsciousness. But what I cannot understand is how/why (assuming this was consensual sex of this variety) one would continue to apply tight constriction or compression to the person for dozens of seconds beyond the point where they lose consciousness.

2) The sheer extent of intent and planning in his post-death actions and activities, and his initial lies to police (which only evolved when he was confronted with evidence that he'd been lying). Incidentally, not only did he do all of those things to transport and bury her body..... he also went on another Tinder date the evening after the death, during which he did not act in any way distressed. I'm afraid I find that incredibly difficult to reconcile with his claims to have been panicked and all over the place after discovering her "accidental death". Rather, that seems much more compatible with the behaviour of a psychopath, IMO.
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Old 19th November 2019, 07:29 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
We seem to have rowed back some way from "stick a fork in him, he's done". It's an interesting case. I never believed that the accused had deliberately set out to murder Grace, or indeed anyone. The question was always, was he recklessly carried away to the point where his negligence and surrender to his basest instincts beomes culpable? And while my gut instincts here are still those of a vengeful harpy, I have wondered from the beginning whether that really would be murder or something closer to culpable homicide. Extracts from New Zealand law suggested that if he had indeed been reckless and negligent, given the nature of the act, it could come under murder.

However I'm not convinced the prosecution are really making their case here. They've totally failed to prove lack of consent, there's no proof that Grace tried to struggle or resist or indeed give any indication that she was in distress. The expert gave 90 seconds as a minimum neck compression to cause death, but there's nothing to say that for all of that 90 seconds the accused would have been aware that he was doing something that might lead to death.

His actions afterwards are something else. Surely there must have been a point where he should have called the emergency services? Did this really go directly from "everything's fine" to "OMG she's dead and definitely beyond help!"? One of the things I wondered if we believed was the stuff about thinking Grace had left the hotel room and falling asleep in the shower and only realising she was still there and actually dead some time later. It sounds highly improbable.

But does that make it murder? Does that even make it culpable homicide? Should he really be charged with failing to report a death and unlawful concealment of a body?
Happy birthday.

That's a few questions you've asked.

Another should be as to whether the 'game' was repeated toward unconsciousness more than once. The ex partner said they had a tapping system, 3 taps to stop - I don't know if he was asked if that would be repeated more that once but it seems likely.

A fair position to start with is that Grace was looking for a particular kind of partner who would indulge her desire. Again looking at the Crown's evidence was the text where she said 'they had clicked' that is her and the defendant.
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Old 19th November 2019, 07:43 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
I'd still point to two things:

1) The fact that it's a significant distance - in terms of time and effort - between choking/suffocating someone into unconsciousness and choking/suffocating them to death. In the sort of sexual activity being suggested, the aim is to take the person to that grey area between consciousness and unconsciousness, which is (apparently) the "sweet spot" for heightened arousal. I can well understand how/why this could occasionally (or even often) result in taking the person beyond that point and into full unconsciousness. But what I cannot understand is how/why (assuming this was consensual sex of this variety) one would continue to apply tight constriction or compression to the person for dozens of seconds beyond the point where they lose consciousness.

2) The sheer extent of intent and planning in his post-death actions and activities, and his initial lies to police (which only evolved when he was confronted with evidence that he'd been lying). Incidentally, not only did he do all of those things to transport and bury her body..... he also went on another Tinder date the evening after the death, during which he did not act in any way distressed. I'm afraid I find that incredibly difficult to reconcile with his claims to have been panicked and all over the place after discovering her "accidental death". Rather, that seems much more compatible with the behaviour of a psychopath, IMO.
Your first question indicates some naivety that the 'procedure' was like that of a surgeon at the operating table, with assistants, blood pressure and heart beat monitors. This was 2 people who had been drinking heavily - excited by the experience which lay ahead one who apparently liked to go close to the edge.

Your second point is not consistent with his comments about the 2nd date in his 2nd statement. You've often used the word 'provisionally', your diagnosis of psychopathy lacks evidence from the Crown as to what psychopathic behaviour entails in the circumstances of this case and you've 'provisionally' diverted to mind reading. I'm sure the Judge will give warnings to the Jury about drawing conclusions in such situations. My instinct gave the same conclusion at the outset but I was 'willing' to hear the evidence before I started re-assembling the gallows.
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Old 19th November 2019, 09:08 AM   #117
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Ah, the antipodes. Thanks. Not actually my birthday here until tomorrow, but I suppose it's clicked past midnight in NZ.

I didn't think of them doing it more than once. It really isn't a wise pursuit. I think his unwise actions afterwards have made this look a lot worse than it would have been if he'd called an ambulance as soon as he realised she wasn't breathing.
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Old 19th November 2019, 09:37 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
I asked you before if you really don't see a difference between negligently continuing to choke or beat a person you have in a helpless position and other types of negligence, such as packing a parachute wrong. You never answered.
Let me remedy that oversight:

I see many differences, but also many similarities. I'm basing my assessment on the similarities: It's a legal activity. It's a voluntary activity. It's an activity that requires trust. It's an activity where carelessness or incompetence can get someone killed. It's an activity where, absent a clear indication of intent, it's impossible to discern negligence from murder.

Quote:
I think there is a difference, because in the former case, it's not just a single whoopsie. It's an ongoing, active, physical beatdown of some sort.
That almost makes the parachute scenario worse. Packing a parachute is a specific thing that has to be done right one time. You're doing it calmly, methodically, at your leisure.

Compare that to an amateur act of consensual passion, between two enthusiastic but untrained partners. I'd argue that the skydiver has a much greater burden of negligence, simply because his circumstances admit a much greater degree of mindfulness in the act.

Quote:
Now, you're right about the intent part. And that is crucial. But still, something like this surely deserves a higher charge than someone whose actions caused a workplace accident. Intent gets greyer when you're actually choking someone within an inch of their lives and cross over. That's how I see it, anyway.
That's not how I see it. Negligence is negligence. I think that a charge of negligence should be easier to prove in cases of violent sex play (and packing a parachute), simply because it's the kind of activity that a reasonable person would understand they had to be careful about. But I don't think a charge of negligence should be replaced by a higher charge.

Quote:
What do the laws say about whether or not someone can consent to be assaulted, anyway? Does that vary by location?
I'm sure it does. But sex play occupies a weird place in our society. We criminalize a lot of kinks we probably shouldn't. And people are gonna get it on however they like to get it on. We don't consider consensual sodomy rape, even though some jurisdictions make it illegal to consent to sodomy.
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Old 19th November 2019, 10:38 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Fixit View Post
Your first question indicates some naivety that the 'procedure' was like that of a surgeon at the operating table, with assistants, blood pressure and heart beat monitors. This was 2 people who had been drinking heavily - excited by the experience which lay ahead one who apparently liked to go close to the edge.


I don't think it takes an operating table, assistants, monitors and a skilled surgeon to notice when the person whom you're choking/suffocating has become limp, unresponsive and unconscious. And to then carry on choking/suffocating that person for (at a conservative minimum) 45 seconds to a minute longer (count that out for yourself and realise how long a time period that is to carry on choking/suffocating an unconscious, limp and unresponsive person). Regardless of the level of alcohol intoxication. Maybe you think that's naive.




Quote:
Your second point is not consistent with his comments about the 2nd date in his 2nd statement. You've often used the word 'provisionally', your diagnosis of psychopathy lacks evidence from the Crown as to what psychopathic behaviour entails in the circumstances of this case and you've 'provisionally' diverted to mind reading. I'm sure the Judge will give warnings to the Jury about drawing conclusions in such situations. My instinct gave the same conclusion at the outset but I was 'willing' to hear the evidence before I started re-assembling the gallows.


Hmmm. Well firstly, I didn't diagnose him as a psychopath. I said that to go on another Tinder date the evening after you've witnessed the death of a previous Tinder date (regardless of whether through accidental death, manslaughter or murder) seems more compatible with the behaviour of a psychopath. Big difference. Though maybe you think that a reasonable person would go on another Tinder date the very evening after either witnessing or causing the death of a previous Tinder date, all the while acting like nothing had happened?

Secondly, I am in no way "reassembling the gallows". What I'm doing is giving my opinion on what I see as the two absolutely central issues in this case, namely:

1) the mechanism of Millane's death, and its compatibility (or otherwise) with claims to have been an accident arising from the actions of consensual sexual activity involving erotic asphyxiation; and

2) the combined actions of the defendant in the aftermath of her death (including the many well-considered steps he went to in transporting and burying her body, his Tinder date the very next evening, and his lies to the police about Millane leaving of her own accord - a story which he only changed when confronted with evidence of his lies), and their compatibility (or otherwise) with his claims to have "panicked" when he realised she had "died by accident" and that he was worried he'd be blamed.

And to me, the answers to the questions posed within these two central issues seem only to be compatible with a verdict of murder. I don't think that because I "want" him to be found guilty of murder, and nor do I think that out of any misplaced ideas of retribution or "justice for the victim". It just happens to be the result of my own analysis of this case.

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Old 19th November 2019, 10:49 AM   #120
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That's the sticking point for me - the gap between unconsciousness and death.

If I could be convinced that this gap is just a couple of seconds, then it would be easier to think of this as an accident. But if the point of the activity is to give the recipient some kind of pleasure, then there's absolutely no point in continuing after she's passed out, and the guy should stop as soon as that happens, not continue for as long as it takes for her to actually die.

Unless HE's still getting some sexual pleasure from it, in which case lock him up.

But maybe I'm just a prude.
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